What could be better than a room with a view over South Bank and the beautiful Brisbane River? A suite with a view, natch!
It is getting rather chilly Sydney side and the winter blues have me over-sleeping, and over-eating and over-imbibing. OK, I’d be doing that no matter what the temp, but the lure of Queensland’s “beautiful one day, perfect the next” weather is too tempting for this frozen southerner to resist, especially when its capital, Brisbane, is adding shirtless gladiators and a couple of sexy superheros for extra sizzle this winter.
With so much going on in and around South Bank, Rydges South Bank Brisbane provides the perfect digs for families after a little defrosting of the cultural kind.
The entire hotel has recently undergone a slick new fit out and the décor is fresh and modern and I particularly fancy the sunburst motif that runs throughout the hotel in many of its mirrors and artworks.
But not as much as the platter of sublime hand made welcome chocolates that’s waiting in my room!
I’m lucky enough to be staying in one of Rydges South Bank Brisbane’s plush king suites, boasting a separate living area (with a sofa that converts into a bed for the kids), a spacious master bedroom with king size bed and dining area.
One of the hotel’s super slick technology features is that guests can stream media from their own devices to the in-room TV, wirelessly. Meaning there’s plenty to keep the munchkins entertained.
There’s also a huge balcony with stunning views over the city.
Our suite has more than enough space for a family of four. In fact it has a stack more space than our apartment, and I’m rather enjoying it.
When I discover the spa and sauna at the gym (because actually exercising isn’t on my weekend agenda) and that the gorgeous rooftop swimming pool comes with a saucy wrap around bar, it becomes apparent that the management may have to forcibly remove me becasue I’m starting to feel quite at home here.
Then there is the exquisite Bacchus, the hotel’s incredible hatted restaurant, which is so good I half expect to see the restaurant’s namesake, the Roman god of wine, overindulgence and theatre, shovelling the contents of its food and wine menu down his neck on his way to a theatre production across the road. In his absence they’ll just have to make do with me, doing my best impression of a gluttonous, unquenchable gut god.
Great accommodation, food good enough for deities, and great facilities are not all there is to love about Rydges South Bank. The hotel’s ridiculously convenient location, barely a breath away from the Brisbane River and a wealth of wonderful walks in the centre of Queensland’s arts and entertainment precinct, gives almost instant access to QPAC (the Queensland Performing Arts Centre), the incredible GoMA (Queensand’s Gallery of Modern Art) and the fantastic, hands-on Queensland Museum. And they are hosting a load of incredible exhibitions this winter, including the museum’s Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum, where you’ll find larger than life images of those shirtless gladiators I mentioned, along with a bunch of Gladiatorial treasures from the Colosseum and Pompeii and activities for the kids.
There’s also Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe at GoMA, which – packed as it is with interactive activities, artworks, sets and costumes from Ironman, Captain America, The Avengers, Ant Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and more – will send the kids into a superhero frenzy. But it is not all for the kids. There are also costumes infused with Hemsworth and Hiddleston sweat from Thor: Ragnarok, which should keep mama’s amused. At least this one!
If you’re still in search of fun, you’re just minutes walk from the Wheel of Brisbane with its 360-degree panoramic view of Brisbane City, and the lush South Bank Parklands.
The Parklands are home to my family’s favourite spot, Streets Beach, with its pristine powder white sand and man made lagoon beach meandering under bridges and past islets of trees. (The beach will be closed for annual maintenance until September 2017).
And, if you are feeling active, you can pop by the Riverlife Adventure Centre to hire a bicycle, kayak or rollerblades to explore the city. But, if you’re more like me and my good bud Bacchus, you can sit on your lazy arse at one of the great restaurants and bars along the river, order another bottle of vino and indulge.
Disclosure: I was hosted by the beautiful people at #visitsouthbank and Rydges South bank, as always, all overindulging and opinions are my own.